Over seventy families came to the Grow Clinic Holiday Party this year. So many people in the Redeemer community helped make the party a special event for the families served by clinic.
Deborah Frank, the Director of the Clinic wrote, “Every year I think that the Church crew will never be able to surpass that they pulled off for the holiday party last year and every year you prove me wrong. It was the best party ever!! You were able to see for yourself what great joy you brought to the children and families served by the Grow Clinic by your presence and your good-humored efforts. Please convey to the whole Church family our deepest thanks for the lovely cookies, the mitten and hat tree, and all the hard work that went into organizing and making sure everyone had a wonderful time. Without all the Church’s generosity, we we would never have been able to fill up all the gift bags. The warmth you sparked will continue to brighten the hearts of our patients and our staff through this long, cold winter.”
LaKeisha Gandy from the Grow Clinic added,“Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Many thanks to the youth group and for coordinating and shopping for us so early in the toy packing process. Thank you for your continued support of our annual holiday party… Please save the date for our 2016 party, Thursday, December 15th, 2016. Please share our many thanks with all the volunteers, we could not have done it with them.”
Many hands contributed to this year’s party! The Youth Group shopped in advance for presents for the children; the Redeemer knitters and donors to the Mitten Tree contributed hats, gloves, and scarves; over a dozen bakers contributed over 25 dozen home-made baked goods; and members donated $2,700 for the toys and supplies given to families. At the Christmas services, members gave many baskets full of read-to-me books. The Mission Committee allocated $2,500 to pay for the party, and a dozen stalwart Redeemer volunteers were at the party. The band played Christmas tunes, and volunteers tended the Mitten Tree, helped with crafts, took photos, led the children dancing, and served the food and baked goods. You certainly could feel the Christmas spirit throughout the room.
The Grow Clinic for Children was established at Boston Medical Center in 1984 to treat the youngest and most vulnerable patients who suffer from failure to thrive (FTT). It provides comprehensive specialty medical, nutritional, developmental and social services, and dietary assistance to children from the Greater Boston area referred by their primary care physician. Children with FTT do not achieve expected height and weight milestones for their age. As a result, they are at high risk for various difficulties including increased vulnerability to illness, delays in the development of language, learning, attention and motor skills, continued growth failure, and emotional problems.
The clinic serves a particularly vulnerable population in which all of the children are moderately to severely malnourished. Approximately 10% of the children live in shelters or are homeless; most of the children and families served by the clinic have public health insurance, and 68% live below the poverty level.
The Mission Committee